Google Docs

Google Docs

A few weeks ago our Lecturer showed us a few examples of how to use Google Docs in class with students. One could see that teachers who use this format in classes have the opportunity to engage in and create a collaborative working and learning environment. 

The link I have included in this blog post is  one of a presentation by Mr Tom Barret on some of the most interesting ways in which teachers can use Google Docs in class with their students.

Google Docs enables teachers to publish information in formats such as power point, word documents, and excel spreadsheets.  Google Docs allows up to 50 simultaneous collaborators to work on a document at a time. This means that  each of the students in class will be able to interact with this document in real time and as a group. 

Google Docs facilitate teachers and students to work in a shared work-space and interact with digital information live and in real-time. Each participant can update the content of the document with their own data live.

For example students can input data on excel spreadsheets and the information they provide  can then be analysed, amended, charted or explored as part of the class.      

In terms of the presentation and contribution of their work students will be careful and aware of the public nature of the data they are publishing and so will understand the need and expectation of their data to be correct, accurate and reliable. 

Again, the limit of 50 participants  collaborating on a presentation, document or spreadsheet allows the whole class to participate in the activity as a group.

When teachers use Goggle Docs with students, the individual student becomes co-owners of the learning activity in which they are apart. I feel these tasks promote the development of collaboration and creativity among our young learners. Tasks such as homework assignments, projects, and group work take on a new dynamic and are presented as current and exciting. Most importantly from the point of the student it takes learning off the pages of the class textbook and into a format which they like to interact with.

Google Docs can also be used as an effective means of achieving an up to date method of assessment for learning. As teachers, we set learning objectives for our students and assess them on them on that basis. However, using Google Docs teachers can ask the student to rate their own learning by using an easily designed template which the student would use to comment on how they coped with the learning objectives. The teacher can also use this instrument to leave student comments on work submitted and to set targets for the students to reach.

These comments can be made private were only the student concerned along with their parents  would be able to view them. 

Google Docs can offer the teacher a means to utilise this from of digital interface as a positive motivational tool, as well as a up-to-date feedback system for students to maintain contact with the teacher. This will also assist the teacher when setting and meeting learning targets for the student in their class.

I feel that the Google Docs digital interface used in education has powerful potential in terms of scope and range of collaborative work projects and portfolios which can created by students, among students and for students.

On our reading list: The Human Face of Big Data

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Rick Smolan enlisted an unusual partner for the release of his new coffee table book, The Human Face of Big Data — FedEx. Yes, Smolan orchestrated a meeting with the shipping giant so that 10,000 copies of the book would be delivered simultaneously today, November 20, to a large group of influential people around the world, ranging from Barack Obama to Anna Wintour of Vogue to Jiang Jiemin of PetroChina.

Smolan, who spoke at TEDYouth this weekend and called on the teenage attendees to become Data Detectives, says that when he first started hearing about “big data,” he thought it was “hot air and buzzwords.” But as he tells The New York Times, his interest began to grow as he heard more about the possibilities that the vast amount of data generated minute by minute could have for all of our daily experiences.

The book, co-written with Jennifer…

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Social Media Revolution.

Dr Martin Molony showed this video in class the other day. I felt it raised some important questions in relation our examination of Web 2.0 and digital learning.

Digital literacy among our students is intuitive, the stats shown on this clip are interesting and there is no doubt that the development of social media had repercussions for students and teachers alike.

to them and how they interact in their social group. While many

Inspiring the Imagination of a Generation.

I recently visited an exciting project working in the heart of inner city Dublin and only a five minute walk from our MDI campus.

The project is called Fighting Words, it is a writing center for kids aged 6-17 years.

This center was established by Irish author Roddy Doyle in 2009. It is designed to encourage an interest in writing among student across Ireland.

I was immediately impressed by the vibrancy of the facility and by the art work completed by the young people themselves which gave a sense of the place and what it means to the kids who come here.

The volunteers of the center support the young writers to release their own unique creative talents and imagination and all of this takes place in an atmosphere of good fun.

You can go to the Fighting Words website by clicking the hyperlink.

Defiantly worth taking a look.

Cheers guys and keep it up !

Educational Resources.

TES Teaching Resources is a website where teachers share and download free lesson plans, classroom resources, revision guides and curriculum worksheets.

You can choose from 1000s of teacher resources, download them for free and adapt them to suit your classroom activities. you can even upload your own resources if you so wish.

I found this website an excellent source to draw from while on teaching placement and I would advise anyone to take a look at the great resources.